Time for some new adventures (part 2)

Perhaps “New Adventures” is the wrong phrase as I’m now well into my third month of this particular endeavour, but sticking with the theme I’m pleased to announce that I am now Head of Digital for Finn! It’s a bit of a departure from working for a web design agency (for those that don’t know, Finn are traditionally known as a PR agency) but it’s a grand adventure and one that I’m excited to be part of.

From Creative Director to Head of Digital

In my previous role at Order Of Magnitude (OOM) I was heavily involved in working directly with clients who, in the main, tended to be other agencies that required web creative or web development. Finn was one such client and we worked together on websites, social media applications and email marketing campaigns.

In the six months running up to my departure we had built a social media, geo-location powered treasure hunt for Fox’s Puddings, a web presence for Nouvelle, social media applications for Morphy Richards, Lovetub and Blue Diamond Almonds as well as completely rebuilding Finn’s own website. The work was great (and the other guys at OOM played no small part in their success) and it started to become clear that Finn were more than just a standard PR team, they were producing content that people wanted to consume and was best delivered digitally.

Shortly before Christmas 2011, Richard approached me about joining their team to help them deliver these projects internally. The idea wasn’t to build a full-service digital agency, it was to have a core team of thinkers and creators that would bring in the best partners to fulfil the job at hand. As hard as it was to say goodbye to OOM, the proposition and potential for Finn Digital (as it is currently known) was too great an opportunity to turn down.

So here I sit, Head of Digital for one of the fastest growing PR agencies[1] in the country, a company stuffed full of talent, awards and fantastic clients. It’s all a bit daunting if I’m honest![2]

Working with Content Creators

The main thing that gets me excited about working for Finn is the Content First nature of PR. While it is my job to make sure that the digital medium is used to its full potential (and that anything we build is both beautiful and technically rock solid) the rest of the team are there to create the ideas that will get our clients noticed. It’s no good to know how to build the best looking website, you’ve got to know what users want to consume. To quote Finn’s MD Richard Rawlins,
“Finn Digital’s proposition is to blend art and science: the art of consumer insight, content and conversation combined with the science of technology to deliver it and measure its success.

We apply the PR agency art of marrying consumer insight with the brand agenda to produce awesome relevant content which creates conversations.”

PR could be likened to SEO in many ways, after all, we are essentially trying to drive natural traffic to our clients’ websites to increase their profile and, ultimately, make more money. We aren’t, however, solely following a traditional SEO route of on-page optimisation and link-building, instead we are creating compelling content that uses the power of social media and word of mouth to get people excited about a brand.

Creating content that gets people talking (and sharing) is not easy, but the team at Finn has proven time and time again that they know how to generate an idea that works. We know it’s not just about how many people see something, it’s how many people are moved to talk, to share, to engage that matters and by creating content which people of influence want to share, we create the positive reputations, sentiment and engagement which Google craves.

Who we'll be working for

Finn has a fantastic client list, including household names such as Morphy Richards, Fab Ice Lollies, Fox’s and Nouvelle, and the digital team are already hard at work with social media applications, community management and several website builds.

We’re working with such diverse topics as recycled toilet rolls, hair straighteners, frozen yogurt and vacuum cleaners, so there’s never a dull moment (being a designer is great for becoming an overnight hack on a huge range of topics)!

Within these projects we’re using tech and skills including HTML5, CSS3, the Facebook Graph API, Facebook’s Open Graph, Twitter, geo-location, Instagram (and it’s API), Adobe Flash (it’s still alive and kicking!), display advertising, viral content and seeding, PPC, SEO, Content Strategy and coffee! So there’s loads of new and interesting things to be investigating, prototyping and building with - if only there was more time in the day!

And so to the future

With nearly three months gone already, this new adventure is well and truly underway. It’s been hectic, creative, educational, long hours (at times) and hard work but it’s been thoroughly worth it, every second, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Join the team

If you like the sound of what we’re doing at Finn then get in touch, we’re always on the hunt for talented people to join the digital team!

[1] Named in the PR Week 2011 Top 150 as fastest growing PR Agency outside London
[2] Daunting and exciting in equal measure, I love a challenge and I know that in Finn we’ve got the team to produce brilliant digital work.